I want the bonus scene!

Thanks for stopping by! I just love Morgan and Will. Keep scrolling, and you’ll find a cute little bonus scene to follow My Favorite Color is Your Something Blue—just for fun!

Bonus Scene #1:

Morgan – Four months later, Christmastime

 

The cozy hum of Coffee Connection wraps around me like a winter scarf as we push through the door, leaving the biting December wind behind us. The scent of roasted beans and cinnamon permeates the air as the chatter of customers blends with the clinking of mugs and the hiss of the espresso machine. Will follows close behind, his family trailing in a cheerful procession.

I deposit a snowflake-themed plastic container of cookies on an empty table to shimmy purple gloves from my stiff fingers. Rubbing my hands together, I take in the cozy space where happy customers nestle in corners, lounge on velvet couches, and chat around wooden tables. 

“Looks like the whole town decided to grab a coffee today.”

Will slings an arm over my shoulder. “Or maybe they heard about an unexpected cookie decorating class and its talented and beautiful instructor.”

I laugh and roll my eyes, poking him in the side.

We find our reserved space near the back, and with practiced ease, I start setting out supplies: protective placemats, piping bags filled with vibrant icing, various sprinkles, and more.

Emma drums her fingers on the coffee bar and addresses the barista. “Can I get a large gingerbread latte, extra whipped cream?” An ever-present camera hangs from her shoulder like an extension of her body. Her sisters order espresso and hot chocolate, their tastes as varied as their personalities.

Mema pulls her wallet from a bright pink purse. “Will. Morgan. Can I get you anything while you set up?”

“Sure. Thanks, Mema,” Will says as he helps me unpack my supplies. 

We give her our order, and a few minutes later, when everyone happily cradles a hot beverage, we huddle around the tables, pulling in extra chairs to accommodate all of Will’s aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

The family chats about their favorite Carlton Landing memories as we wait for any class stragglers.

Emma elbows Hudson. “Oh, and remember last Christmas when Hudson tried to deep fry the turkey and almost set the backyard on fire?”

Will chuckles as he wraps his fingers around a peppermint mocha. “Hard to forget. The younger kids were worried Santa might not come if the house burned down.”

Hudson leans back in his chair and pats his belly. “Best turkey I ever had.”

The rest of us laugh at this silly memory.

“Don’t worry. Santa made his appearance.” Mema says as she squeezes Hudson’s shoulder. “Carlton Landing has never been short on excitement and shenanigans, has it?”

“No, ma’am.” This time, Hudson nudges Emma. “And I think my dear cousin, Emma, has a few stories of her own. Didn’t you have to do community service a few summers ago? What was it again? You and what’s-his-name—the neighbor—got into trouble or something.”

“What?” I say, scanning Emma’s face. “No way.”

Her smile falters, but she recovers. “Yep. I did my time.”

Emma’s sister, Audrey, scoots forward, cradling her hot chocolate. “And she hasn’t been back in the summer since. Well, until the wedding. And I was surprised she came to that. I was afraid she wouldn’t.”

Emma frowns at Audrey and nudges the plastic container toward me. “We all have to face our demons eventually.”

I reach into it, pitching my voice low. “Emma, what’d you do?”

She hesitates. “Let’s just say summer in Carlton Landing is…complicated.”

“Complicated how?”

“A story for another time.” Her gaze flits away. 

Hmm. A Carlton Landing mystery, then. 

Theories spin through my mind, but Emma’s look begs me to let it go. So I do.

I pull the container close. I spent my morning baking the perfect snowmen, Christmas trees, and Santa sugar cookies. I pass them out, giving one of each to every registered person, including a few people I’m not familiar with.

I return to my coffee next to Will and give my patrons a moment to settle in. Will was right. A few of the other Coffee Connection customers are here for the class, and my phone chimes as their payments hit my Venmo account. 

Will slides his arm over the back of my chair, his eyes twinkling. “I told you they were here for the class.”

“I can’t believe it.”

“I can.”

I grin and lean into him. He pitches his voice low. “I have a small favor to ask of my favorite entrepreneur.”

“Oh? What’s that?”

“You have to help me beat Hudson in the decorating contest. Please.”

“Jameson, are you asking me to throw the contest?” I feign shock, placing a hand on my chest.

“As my girlfriend, I’m asking you to help me decorate mine better than his.” He scratches his nose. “So, yes, that’s exactly what I’m asking.” 

I laugh and give him a wink. “We’ll see.”

I stand and clear my throat. “Alright, everyone! Who’s ready to decorate cookies?”

I walk them through each step, showing them how to outline with one color, flood with another, and add details that bring each cookie to life. As I move around the tables, I pause to check their progress and offer suggestions and encouragement.

“Try holding the bag at a forty-five-degree angle, like this,” I instruct Hudson, who’s somehow managed to create what looks more like a blurry monster than a cute snowman. 

Christmas Cookies
Note from Eva: I got the idea for a cookie decorating class from my friend Tiffany!

When I meander by Will a few minutes later, I lean in to inspect his work. “Operation better-than-Hudson is well underway. And you don’t even need my help.”

“Perfect.” A wicked grin slides onto his face.

As the class continues, I feel lighter than I have in weeks. There’s something about the blend of sugar and laughter, the warmth of new friendships, and, of course, the completion of finals that makes the world seem brighter.

Once everyone is finished, I announce Brooklyn, Will’s sister, as the winner in a surprising cooking-decorating upset. 

After the non-family members leave, I start gathering my now-messy utensils, tossing them into the empty cookie container. 

As I grab a discarded spatula, the bell dings above the coffee shop door, and two familiar faces duck in from the cold. 

“Will,” I say, shaking his shoulder. “Look.”

He turns in his seat, eyes going wide. 

Ava leans our way. “What? Who is that?”

I pitch my voice low. “The owners of Lake Side Jewelers.”

Hudson chuckles. “Oh, this should be good.”

The man and woman scan the crowd as they make their way to the coffee bar until the man’s gaze catches on Will and me.

“Hudson, Ava,” he booms in our direction, his arms spreading wide. “I never forget a face. Good to see you again.”

A glop of bright green icing falls from my spatula onto the table. I don’t even know their names. “Uh… It’s great to see you, too.”

Will’s family watches, some amused and some confused, as Will straightens and picks at a crust of dried icing on his chin. “So…how are you guys?”

“Busy, busy.” The woman’s silver bracelets jingle as she waves at us. “The holiday rush, you know. But we came over for pizza at Mama Tig’s and couldn’t resist stopping in for some of Olivia’s famous gingerbread lattes.”

“Of course. The gingerbread lattes are irresistible.” I push my black coffee aside.

The man unwraps his scarf. “Indeed. But tell me, how is life for the newlyweds?”

He sheds his jacket, revealing a neon yellow Fish Eufaula T-shirt over a long-sleeved thermal. 

I have to bite my lip to keep from laughing. 

Don’t look at Will. 

I adjust a tray of decorated cookies instead. “Everything is…great.” I’m about as convincing as Hudson’s abstract snowman.

“Delightful,” The woman says, her eyes twinkling. “Ah such a special moment when you two came in to pick up the ring. So romantic! And that kiss!”

“Rings? Kiss?” Will’s dad says, nearly choking on his coffee. Will gives him a look and points in Hudson and Ava’s direction. “Oh, those rings!” His dad chuckles. “Right.”

My cheeks flush, but I manage a nod. “Yes, nothing beats good jewelry.”

“Right, you are.” The jeweler agrees once more, nodding. “Well, we won’t keep you. Just wanted to say hello. We’ll see you soon, perhaps to discuss anniversary bands?”

“Anniversary bands!” I repeat, biting my lip again. “Absolutely. We’ll drop by.”

“Take care now,” the woman calls as they meander to the counter to order the famed lattes.

Once they’re out of earshot, Will and I exchange a look before bursting into quiet laughter. Half the family joins in. The rest lean in.

Emma’s sister, Lucy, slaps her hand on the table. “Okay, what in the world was that about?”

“Spill,” Audrey says. “This I’ve got to hear.”

“Alright, alright,” Will concedes, pulling me close. “It all started when the rest of you left us here in the coffee shop to go on your tubing adventure…”

As I watch Will launch into the tale, surrounded by his frosting-smeared family, I feel the threads of affection weave tighter around me. 

So far, this has been a fantastic Christmas holiday.

I can’t wait to see what a new year brings. 

 


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